Over the next few months, Tesla Motors will be fulfilling orders for over 500,000 new Model 3’s. At first glance, that number feels like there will soon be one of the shiny electric marvels on every corner, but how does that number compare to this all-time best selling car list?
Everybody’s Favorite, a Top 10 List
Automotive history has shown that it is not the sexy or exotic car that drives sales. The average consumer is much more concerned with practicality, reliability and a good price. Let’s take a look at ten autos that have met that criteria faithfully through the years.
#10 – The Volkswagen Passat (15.5 million sold)
First manufactured in 1973, the Passat has evolved through seven iterations. This is a great family car from a trusted manufacturer. The Passat has remained competitive in the tough sedan market by delivering a touch of class at a reasonable price.
#9 – The Ford Model T (16.5 million sold)
While it hasn’t been produced in over 80 years, the popularity and propriety of the first mass-produced automobile have enabled this icon to hold a place on the top 10 list still.
#8 – The Honda Accord (17.5 million sold)
Launched shortly after the introduction of Honda’s first export, the Civic, the Accord has remained one of the best-selling cars in the United States since 1989.
#7 – The Ford Escort (18 million sold)
Ford Introduced the Escort to America in 1981 but had sold it with great success in Europe since 1968. The escort is not in current production, but there is talk of a new Escort model that may be available for sale in China next year.
#6 – The Honda Civic (18.5 million sold)
In 1972, Honda was considering closing down its car manufacturer division. The name Civic likely came from manipulating the name of their first model, the CVCC. The name CVCC referenced the cars 1500 cc engine.
#5- The Lada Riva (20 million sold)
Unknown to most Americans, this car, based on the Fiat 124 was introduced to the former Soviet Union in 1980. Often ridiculed for its styling, a combination of the affordability of the car and limited choice in the communist regime made this model a best seller. The Lada has not been produced in Russia since 2012, but new ones are still rolling off assembly lines in Egypt.
#4 – The Volkswagen Beetle (23.5 million sold)
In 1938, Adolf Hitler envisioned a car for the masses, and from that vision the Beetle was born. In America, Volkswagen’s first product captured hearts (and wallets) of Americans and is among the longest running production cars in history.
#3 – The Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit (30 million sold)
1974 saw the first of these boxy hatchbacks from Volkswagen. Despite the shifting nameplate, it has remained Volkswagen’s best selling model.
#2 – The Ford F-series Pickup (40 million sold)
Originally sold as the “Ford Bonus Built,” Ford’s flagship was first introduced in 1948. The quality of the first few models was questionable, but Ford’s willingness to address these problems has made the F-150 the all time leader in a market that shows no signs of slowing down.
#1 – The Toyota Corolla (43 million sold)
First hitting the scene in 1966, it only took eight years for the Corolla to become the best-selling car in the world. When Toyota announced the sale of Corolla number 40 million in 2013, they admitted that sales were consistently so brisk that they had no idea which sale actually represented #40,000,000.
So yes, a half million is a lot, but when you consider that these ten car models alone represent nearly a quarter billion units, Musk and company still have a ways to go.